Capricorn is not only the sign of the season, but also the dominant archetype of all 2020. Three of the outer planets currently reside in this sign — Pluto, Saturn, and most recently Jupiter. Capricorn is the Cardinal Earth sign. We utilize Capricorn energy at its best when we balance the dynamic leadership qualities of the Cardinal modality with the stable, practical sense of the Earth element. With steady effort and realistic focus, Capricorn aspires to scale the mountain of success the only way possible — one step at a time. We can prepare for the year ahead by ritual attunement with the sign and its ruler, Saturn, on the Dec. 21 Winter solstice, when the Sun enters the sign, followed by the final Capricorn solar eclipse on Dec. 26. Known as the Taskmaster, Saturn scoffs at frivolity. His mission is to prune away our excesses in such a way that encourages healthy growth. Saturn teaches the rewards of employing intelligent restriction. While Jupiter brings opportunity to this sign of success, and Pluto seeks to transform this sign of structure, Saturn imparts longevity. What we choose to create in 2020 will have the power to stand for decades, or even generations, to come.
There is one significant star that we have not yet featured in this column — Polaris. More commonly known as the North Star, Polaris is so named due to its unique position as a marker for Earth’s North Pole. Over the next three installments, we will focus on the stars of the northern sky. We will first turn our gaze to Cassiopeia, one of the circumpolar constellations for our latitude. A circumpolar constellation never rises or sets, but traces a circle around one of Earth’s axial poles. Due to its ubiquitous nature, cultures across the Northern Hemisphere have revered this constellation, including the ancient Greeks who named it for a mythical queen of great beauty. Cassiopeia is made up of five main stars forming a distinct shape, a “W” or an “M,” depending on when you spot it. Cassiopeia revolves around the North Star in a counterclockwise direction. Just after sunset, she is on her side, rising in the northeastern sky. By 7 p.m., she is due north, crowning the North Star and appearing as an “M.” By midnight, she is descending to the northwest, appearing more as a “W” by the time sunrise arrives. Cassiopeia is quite close to the horizon when underneath the North Star. She is highest in the sky and easiest to spot between 6 and 9 p.m.